Irish Easter Rising


The Easter Rising of 1916 was the opening event for the Irish War of Independence. Occurring Easter Week in 1916, it was mainly centered in Dublin, although some surrounded communities were also involved.

The goal of the rising was to attain political freedom and establish an Irish Republic. With the outbreak of World War I, the British Government suspended the Home Rule Bill. Several Irish groups including the Citizen Army, the Irish Volunteers, and the Sinn Fein, decided that they needed to take a stand.

Under leadership of Padhraic Pearse, they began planning their uprising for Easter Sunday. They arranged for a series of parades to run throughout the city as a signal to the other rebels. Their plans were discovered and the parades were canceled. They decided to hold off until the next day.

Around noon on Easter Monday April 24th, about 2000 men lead by Pearse seized control of the Dublin post office (which became their headquarters) and many other strategic points in the city. They hoisted one tricolor flag on one side of the post office and a green flag with the inscription "Irish Republic" on the other. Pearse then read the Proclamation of the Republic. By the next morning, they controlled a considerable part of Dublin. British reinforcements began to arrive on Tuesday and Martial law was proclaimed. There were numerous street fights.

On the morning of April 29th, the post office was under violent attack and Pearse sent out an unconditional surrender. The leaders of the uprising were court-martialed and executed by firing squad. Military casualties were 116 dead, 368 wounded, and 9 missing. As for policemen, 16 died and 29 were injured. It's believed that of the Irish, 64 rebels and 254 civilians died, and 2217 were wounded. A total of 3430 men and 79 women were arrested, although many were later released.

The leaders of the Rising were buried in the old prison yard of Arbor Hill Prison. A memorial was placed there and the Proclamation is inscribed on the wall in Irish and English.

The uprising was the first of a series of events that culminated in the establishment of the Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland). There are plans for centenary celebrations of the Easter Rising in 2016.

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